Each Wednesday, The Wrap
presents a compilation of recent noteworthy commercial real estate stories from
a variety of publications. Below are five stories that caught our eyes in
recent days.

“Retail
Investment Sales Up 20 Percent in 2012”
from Retail Traffic.

Investment sales volume in the retail sector rose sharply
last year, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA).

Retail investment sales totaled $52.8 billion in 2012, up 20
percent from 2011, according to RCA. The number of transactions involving
significant retail properties rose to about 4,400, also an increase of 20
percent.

New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles saw the greatest
volume of retail transactions last year, Retail Traffic reports.

Indicators pointed to emerging retail markets in San Jose,
Calif., which saw a 224 percent year-over-year increase in retail investment
sales; Orange County, Calif., where sales were up 138 percent; and Cleveland,
which saw a 112 percent increase in sales.

“E-Commerce
Plays Major Role in Industrial Sector Growth”
by Robert Carr of National
Real Estate Investor. 

The e-commerce boom has the industrial market emerging
strong this year with declining vacancy and modest rent growth in most markets,
Carr reports.

It may be causing destruction to the bricks-and-mortar
retail industry, but e-commerce development helped prevent the downfall of the
national industrial market, Carr says. As e-commerce continues to expand,
demand for new distribution centers is rising, especially around ports and in
major population centers, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2013-2016
Industrial Forecast Report.

The popularity of online retailer Amazon has inspired
companies like Home Depot, Target and Walmart to evaluate their three-to-five-year
multichannel strategies, Kris Bjorson of Jones Lang LaSalle told Carr.

These companies already have their industrial supply chains
in place, but may need to alter their distribution centers to include trained
workers for more automated processes, add parking to meet increased shipping
demands and renovate buildings to handle single-item picking, Bjorson said.

“Emory
Point Welcomes Bevy of Phase 1 Retailers”
by Josh Green of Curbed Atlanta.

Phase I of the Emory Point development, a collaboration
between Atlanta-based firms Cousins Properties and Gables Residential, is now
open and nearly 90 percent committed, Green reports.

Phase I opened last week with a group of tenants that includes
Jos. A Bank Clothiers, LOFT by Ann Taylor, American Threads, Marlow’s Tavern,
Tin Lizzy’s, Bonefish Grill and CVS Pharmacy.

Developers plan to break ground this summer on Phase II,
which will include an additional 40,000 square feet of residential and retail
space, according to a release by Cousins Properties.

“Looking
for a New F.B.I. Headquarters, the Government Proposes a Trade”
by Eugene
L. Meyer of The New York Times.

The F.B.I. is ready to relocate from its headquarters in the
Hoover building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., hoping to swap the
building for a new headquarters in the suburbs, Meyer reports.

The F.B.I.’s current location sports outdated architecture
that would be too costly for the government to demolish and rebuild, but its
prime location is attracting plenty of interest, Meyer notes.

The General Services Administration (G.S.A.) is hoping to
find a developer to take over the building and in exchange provide a new F.B.I.
headquarters in the Washington suburbs. The G.S.A. held an “industry day” last
month to discuss the new building, which 450 interested developers, architects,
brokers and consultants attended, the largest for any such offering in memory,
according to officials.

The F.B.I.’s search for a new headquarters comes as the
government looks to dispose of unused or underused properties and is looking
for buildings that will cost less to maintain, Meyer reports.

VIDEO:
“Questions Remain About Office Vacancy” by Ian Ritter of Globe St.

The Winter/Spring Allen Matkins UCLA Anderson Forecast, discussed
in this video, shows there is still concern in the commercial real estate
industry about future office vacancy rates as new product comes to the market.